Reaction still split after tax forum

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Others, however, liked the plan.

A quick sampling of reactions from local residents to Riley’s tax reform plan after Thursday evening’s public forum on the issue got mixed results. Citizens who gathered at the Demopolis Civic enter heard from Phyllis Kennedy, director of the state Department of Industrial Relations, and David Perry, analyst for the state Finance Director.

Both members of the state government tried to explain Riley’s large and involved plan for new revenue and accountability.

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If the tax plan fails to win enough votes on Sept. 9, Collins feels the Alabama State Legislature will have to come up with something else to provide the revenue, possibly a sales tax. "They have no choice," he said.

Collins also believes the $1.2 billion estimate of the amount of tax Riley’s plan will raise is wrong. "I bet [they raise double that] before it’s over."

Laney asked Collins, "Is that bad?"

Humble questioned earlier decisions about state leaders on taxes and is concerned about the significant taxes breaks that were given to lure automobile plants to Alabama. "I think therein lies a lot of our money problems….Mississippi is questioning all that money they coughed up to get that Nissan plant – whether they’re going to get their money’s worth for that."

Others were undecided, still.

However, Haskins didn’t feel his question was answered fully about what happens to education funding if the plan’s revenue is not as high as predicted. "If the program is for education, that’s make sure it stays for education, regardless to how it washes out. That should be the highest priority."